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3M Fourth Quarter Sales Grow 5.7%

February 2, 2012
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3M recently reported record fourth quarter sales of $7.1 billion, up 5.7% year-on-year. Fourth quarter 2011 organic local-currency sales growth was 3.3%, of which 1.3% came from organic volume improvement and 2% from higher year-on-year selling prices. Acquisitions added 2.3% to sales, and foreign exchange impacts added another 0.1%.

Sales growth was strongest in Industrial and Transportation, at 14.3%; Safety, Security and Protection Services rose 9.4%; Consumer and Office went up 6.1%; and Health Care grew 5.4%. Sales declined 2.7% in Electro and Communications and 8.8% in Display and Graphics, reportedly because many customers continued to modify production levels in line with weaker demand. On a geographic basis, sales growth was strongest in Latin America/Canada (9.7%) and the U.S. (7.4%).

For the full year 2011, 3M posted sales of $29.6 billion, up 11.1% over 2010. Five of the company’s six business segments posted growth for the year, led by Industrial and Transportation at 19.5% and Safety, Security and Protection Services at 15.2%. Latin America/Canada was the fastest growing geographic region in 2011 at 15.6%.

“2011 was a successful year for 3M, with record sales and earnings per share,” said George W. Buckley, chairman, president and CEO. “We were resilient enough to achieve these results in the face of deteriorating demand in both Western Europe and consumer electronics. Our commitment to the future continued, with investments of $1.6 billion in research and development and $1.4 billion in capital expenditures during the year, aimed primarily at faster growing markets. Our 2011 results demonstrate the underlying strength of 3M’s business model, as we once again generated double-digit top-line growth and premium return on capital.”

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